At Levi Strauss & Co., we believe that in the fight for a more socially just, equitable world, “later” too often means “never”. That’s why we’re engaged in the battle for equal rights on many fronts: racial, gender, sexual and economic. As part of this work, we’re honored to have sponsored Athlete Ally’s inaugural Action Awards in New York City earlier this month.
Athlete Ally provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities. The organization mobilizes ambassadors in collegiate, professional and Olympic sports who work to foster “allyship” in their athletic environments. The programs include Ambassadors from over 80 colleges and over 100 professional athletes.
“Athlete Ally is doing amazing work to help change the landscape for athletes, and supporting the organization is a natural fit for Levi’s®,” said Levi’s CMO Grant Barth of the relationship. “We have a long history with the LGBT community and truly believe that achieving equal treatment and equal rights requires support from the LGBT community and its allies.”
With speeches from honorees Jason Collins and Martina Navratilova,the sold-out Action Awards also included appearances from special guests including Lindsay Berra, and succeeded in raising over $200,000 to support Athlete Ally’s programming.
Many attendees spoke of the importance of allyship during the event. Lindsay Berra, an MLB.com writer and granddaughter of Yogi Berra, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of the baseball legend, and spoke about the synergy between Athlete Ally and the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. Other highlights of the evening were a fast-paced auction, which included a popular auction package from Levi’s.
“Athlete Ally is one of those great organizations that does so much in promoting equality in sports,” said Jason Collins, who was honored at the event. “Regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, you name it, it’s all about a level playing field and treating everyone in the locker room with respect. It’s not just going to come from within the LGBT community. It’s really on all of us, allies included. That’s why this organization is so important.”
Images © Alyssa Greenberg